Jeffrey Valenzuela/Asphalt Green

Asphalt Green hosted its 23rd annual Big Swim Big Kick event on Saturday, April 28, 2018, celebrating the life-changing power of sports and fitness, and raising $845,000 for the nonprofit’s sports, swimming, recess, and fitness programs that help more than 50,000 public school students and seniors get moving each year. A record 1,130 kids, ages 6-10, participated in Big Swim Big Kick’s free swim meet and soccer festival at Asphalt Green’s campus in Manhattan’s Yorkville neighborhood.

Big Swim Big Kick honored the accomplishments of two featured athletes: five-time Olympic swimming gold medalist Dana Vollmer, and University of Florida women’s soccer coach Becky Burleigh. Attendees were treated to high-flying exhibitions by Olympic divers and freestyle soccer pros. NY1 News reporter Roger Clark emceed the event, and 284 volunteers ensured that the festivities ran smoothly.

Simultaneous to the swim races and soccer festival, Asphalt Green board chairman Andrew Nussbaum hosted the Big Swim Big Kick Benefit fundraising luncheon, highlighted by inspiring remarks from Vollmer and Burleigh. Jesse Berland, principal executive at Safety Facility Services, was the benefit’s featured chair, commemorating his years of service to the organization. Berland was a member of the inaugural Asphalt Green Unified Aquatics swim team in 1994.

“Thanks to the incredible generosity of our Big Swim Big Kick Benefit guests, Asphalt Green will be able to continue strengthening and expanding our programs that spread the power of sports and fitness to all New Yorkers, from public elementary school students to seniors. We were ecstatic to see 1,130 kids participating in our Big Swim Big Kick swim meet and soccer festival—a record that would not have been possible without the hard work of our staff and volunteers,” said Maggy Siegel, Asphalt Green’s executive director.

To show their support for Asphalt Green and its mission, New York State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright, Manhattan Borough Gale Brewer, and New York City Council Members Ben Kallos and Keith Powers attended Big Swim Big Kick, delivering brief remarks to help kick off the swim meet.

Proceeds from the Big Swim Big Kick Benefit will help fund the Asphalt Green’s community programs, like Waterproofing, which is helping 2,600 students from 47 public elementary schools this year. Waterproofing students—including an entire class from the South Bronx’s PS 170—were among the hundreds of kids participating their first-ever swim meet at Big Swim Big Kick.

Additional Asphalt Green programs supported by the benefit include its Recess Enhancement Program, serving more than 47,000 elementary school students; Community Sports Leagues, serving more than 720 middle school students; Senior Fitness for older residents of nearby public housing developments; and athletic and camp scholarships.

Big Swim Big Kick’s corporate sponsors include Fried Frank, Glenwood, Skadden, Omni New York, Safety Facility Services, Hospital for Special Surgery, Kings Point Capital Management, and Ascentrea Real Estate Advisors.

David Nicholas Photography/Asphalt Green

Olympic swimmer Dana Vollmer with participants.